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Information PhD (corona-)support

Over the last year, the outbreak of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown have affected all of us in our work and personal lives, including your PhD trajectories.

For questions and issues regarding your research project, your supervisor is the first point of contact. All PhD candidates and their supervisors should regularly discuss how the project has been affected and how to proceed.

Some of you may need additional support due to corona-related or other matters. This page provides information regarding PhD (corona-) support facilities. It is organized in 5 categories:

  1. Support for (mental) health,
  2. Support for working from home,
  3. Support for productivity,
  4. Important rules, regulations, and provisions, and
  5. Other useful sources.

1. Support for well-being and (mental) health

1.1 PhD Buddy system

For additional support for dealing with problems stemming from the corona crisis, the RU provides Global PhD Support. This program matches national and international PhD candidates with a ‘buddy’, someone who is personally assigned to them. More information can be found here.

1.2 PhD Support Sessions: Receiving support from a coach

The goal of the support sessions is to create an open conversation about challenging topics in your PhD process. Topics like Motivation & Productivity, Dealing with Stress & Anxiety and even Social Isolation & Loneliness can be discussed. Of course, the sessions will be held in a safe and secured environment and under the supervision of an experienced coach and psychologist. More information can be found here.

1.3 Occupational health physician, occupational social worker, and psychologist for all PhDs registered with the IMR

All PhDs registered with the IMR can make an appointment with an Occupational Health Physician, absenteeism consultant, or occupational social worker via the AMD administration. This is always possible, even if you are not ill but want to ask questions regarding your health in relation to your work. For questions and appointments, please contact the Occupational Health & Safety and Environmental Service, phone number 024-3615400. Here, you can find information regarding the RU’s Occupational Health & Safety and Environmental Service (AMD).

All PhD candidates can make an appointment with a campus psychologist via campuspsycholoog@ru.nl. This is free of charge. You can find more information here.

2. Support for working from home

2.1 Reimbursement for home office equipment for RU employees

Here, you can find information about reimbursement for home office equipment for RU employees.

2.2 Creating a good at-home work environment

Here, you can find information about creating a good at-home work environment.

Here, you can find ICT-related tips and instructions for working at home.

3. Support for productivity

3.1 gROW training and coaching

Some of the gROW offer includes training and coaching regarding productivity, career counseling, and well-being. More information can be found here and here.

3.2 IMR PhD Events

Some of the IMR PhD Events address productivity. You will be notified of these events via email and the NSM Events Newsletter.

4. Important rules, regulations, and provisions

4.1 Appraisals and contract extensions

All PhD candidates and their supervisors should regularly discuss how the PhD-project has been affected and how to proceed.

For internal PhD candidates, we monitor the impact via the annual appraisal forms. It is paramount that, via the yearly appraisal, you build up a dossier that shows which COVID-19 related challenges you have discussed, which solutions you have considered, and which solutions you have implemented. A number of questions have been added to the appraisal form, inviting you to explicitly address the effects of the COVID crisis and your response to it. You can find the latest version of the form on this intranet page – it is the third document from the top down on the right side of the web page. Please use this form only.

We recognize that there may be cases in which Corona-related delays cannot be mitigated within the original contract. In these cases, supervisors and their Head of Department together can file a motivated request for contract extensions, building on the dossier referred to above. Such a request can only be made in the final year of the contract and only if attempts to avoid or mitigate negative effects have been documented.

More detailed information can be found here (pdf, 141 kB).

For PhDs with a Foreign Scholarship, in cases in which Corona-related delays cannot be mitigated, a supervisor and their Head of Department together can file a motivated request for financial support, using a specific form. Such a request can only be made in the final year of the contract and only if attempts to avoid or mitigate negative effects have been documented. The second attachment describes the procedure for PhD candidates with a Foreign Scholarship.

More detailed information can be found here (pdf, 139 kB).

4.2 Research Proposal deadline for the SAC Defense

If you experience delays that interfere with meeting the deadline for the defense of the Research Proposal for the Scientific Advisory Committee, please send a timely joint email to both HR po@fm.ru.nl and Dr. Inge Bleijenbergh inge.bleijenbergh@ru.nl.

5. Other useful sources

Here, you can find an overview of corona information for employees.

Here, you can find an overview of contact information for corona support.